From Middle English ref, reaf, from Old English rēaf (“plunder, spoil, booty, raiment, garment, robe, vestment, armor”), from Proto-Germanic *raubą, *raubaz (“rape, robbery”), from Proto-Indo-European *reup- (“to rip, tear”). Cognate with Scots ref (“robbery, depredation, spoliation”), Saterland Frisian roowje (“loot, rob”), Dutch roof (“spoil, booty, robbery”), German Raub (“robbery, spoils, plunder”). See also reave, robe.
- (Now chiefly dialectal) Spoil; booty; plunder, especially plunder from robbery.
- (Now chiefly dialectal) The act of practise of robbery; spoliation; depredation.
- (Now chiefly dialectal) The act of carrying off, abducting, or devouring (another).
- (Now chiefly dialectal, Scotland) Rapacity; greedy desire for plunder.
- (Now chiefly dialectal, Scotland) A thief; robber.